Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Kirkland at 100

A walk through history

1 Carillon Point — Corner of Lake Washington Boulevard and Lakeview Drive Northeast. In 1883, James Curtis and his wife and two sons operated freight and ferry boats from Curtis landing, one of the few Eastside docks for travelers heading inland. The family also built boats, establishing what would become a large shipyard decades later. During World War II, more than 6,000 men and women worked at the Lake Washington Shipyard around the clock, building boats for the war effort. One of the most famous boats launched from the shipyard was the Kalakala Ferry in 1935. In 1986, the closed shipyards became the first home of the Seattle Seahawks football team, followed in 1989 by the Carillon Point office complex, hotel and marina. Look for historical plaques with photographs on the wall by the circular driveway.

2 Lake Washington Park Business Building — 5802 Lake Washington Blvd. The city's first hotel once stood here. Look behind the Storyteller Statue on the corner of Northeast 59th Street for a series of historical markers that describe the 1884 Lake House and its importance to the developing Eastside. During the 1909 Alaska-Yukon Exposition, boat tours brought passengers to the Lake House for dinner. The hotel had a reputation for excellent food and luxury rooms but lacked indoor plumbing.

3 Marsh Mansion* — 6604 Lake Washington Blvd. The French eclectic revival home was built in 1929 by Louis Marsh III, a Boeing metallurgist responsible for the switch in airplane construction from wood to metal.

4 Ferry clock — Corner of Lake Street and Kirkland Avenue. Before bridges connected the Eastside and Seattle, residents depended on ferries. The boat schedules were so important that ferry owner John Anderson installed a large clock on Jan. 1, 1935, at the dock by Marina Park. The giant Lake Washington Ferries clock, atop a lamp post, still gives passersby the time today.

5 Marina Park and dock area — Two historical markers just west of The Slip restaurant describe the popular 1940s pig races in Moss Bay, and the lowering of Lake Washington when the Montlake Cut opened in 1916. A third marker at the entrance to the public dock recaps the ferry system that served Kirkland.

6 Heritage Hall — 203 Market St. Built in 1922 as First Church of Christ Scientist, the building was moved here in 1999. The building is now a community center and houses the Kirkland Heritage Society.

7 Peter Kirk, Joshua Sears and Campbell buildings * — These 1889/91 buildings are all still standing on three corners of the Market Street and Seventh Avenue intersection. The buildings' bricks were fired at Kirk's brick works, located at the present day Peter Kirk Park. The Kirk building was the hub of Peter Kirk's would-be Eastside empire. He sold lots to settlers from his Kirkland Land and Improvement Company office on the second floor. A mercantile and drugstore were on the first floor. Today the building houses the Kirkland Arts Center. (10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone 425-822-7161. ) The Campbell Building (700 Market St), with shops on the first floor and offices on the upper floors, was purchased in the 1930s by the Kirkland Masonic Lodge, which still meets on the second floor.

8 Newberry House — 519 First St. This 1909 private residence was built for the Rev. Charles Newberry, who served the nearby Kirkland Congregational Church from 1907 to 1937. Newberry was mayor from 1928 to 1933, resigning the day after the city council voted to allow beer in town. His wife, Amelia, started one of the first Camp Fire groups in King County.

9 Kirkland Women's Club * — 407 First St. Eight women started a town library in 1919/1920, then raised money to build the clubhouse that opened in June 1925. (There's a time capsule buried under the northeast cornerstone.) The women also operated a baby-welfare clinic. Today the building is used as a rental hall.

10 Kirkland Congregational Church — 106 Fifth Avenue. The church bell was donated to Pleasant Bay Church (located near Carillon Point) in the 1880s by benefactor Sarah Houghton of Boston. (Settlers named the Houghton neighborhood after the woman.) The bell was moved to the downtown site when the Kirkland Congregational and Pleasant Bay churches merged in 1894. The bell still calls people to worship on Sundays.

11 American Legion Hall — 138 Fifth Ave. Located just north of City Hall, the building was built around 1900 as a Baptist Church. The American Legion bought it and remodeled it in 1929. It is currently being used as Greek Orthodox Church.

12 Waverly Park — Near the intersection of Third Street West and Waverly Way. Look for the 1932 historic arch that was once the entrance to Kirkland Junior High. Just north of the arch is a Kirkland Heritage Society historical marker with pictures of the Kirk family and the long-gone Peter Kirk home, Firgrove, across the street.

13 Woolen-mill site — One of Kirkland's most enduring industries was on the waterfront at the foot of Fourth Street West by Lake Street. The woolen mill operated continuously from 1891 to 1926; then again briefly in 1929. It burned down in 1935. The area is now filled with lake-front homes.

14 Loomis House * — 304 Eighth Ave. W. The restored Queen Anne style home is one of three 1889 houses remaining in the neighborhood west of Market Street. The other two are at 202 Fifth Ave. W. and 526 10th Ave. W.

15 Juanita Bay — Early last century, the waterfront area of what is now Juanita Bay Park (Market Street and Forbes Creek Drive) featured a farm that raised French frogs for Seattle restaurants. Later, in 1932, real-estate developer Guy Farrar charged duffers 25 cents to play the nine holes he created in the boggy wetland. The park is now a haven for birds and bird-watchers. Stroll across the old bridge that spans Juanita Slough and Forbes Creek and check out the markers detailing the historical and natural wonders of the immediate area, from Native American encampments to still-visible dock pilings from the early 1900s.

The creek is named after the Forbes family, which settled here in the late 1800s and started a snack bar for passengers of the steamboats that used to dock in the bay. When the lake was lowered, the bay became too shallow to navigate and the dock fell into disuse.

The family ended up with a stretch of sandy beach on their lakefront property which they developed into the popular Juanita Beach Resort. Locals flocked to swim, dance and rent cabins from 1921 to 1956, when King County purchased the site for a park. In 2002 the city of Kirkland assumed ownership.

16 Shumway Mansion — 11410 99th Place N.E. In 1911 Carrie Shumway was the first city councilwoman in the state. An investment group moved this 18-room, 1909 mansion from its original site indowntown Kirkland to Juanita in 1985 and turned it into a bed-and-breakfast and reception center. The property is currently for sale.

17 Site of Peter Kirk's mill — Near 120th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 90th Street. In 1888 Peter Kirk and Leigh S. Hunt formed the Moss Bay Iron & Steel Works of America, later called the Great Western Iron & Steel Works. They also started the Kirkland Land and Improvement Co. and purchased 1,400 acres near today's downtown Kirkland. Kirk built a steel mill near a spur of the Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad line by Forbes Lake not far from where Costco and the Rose Hill Presbyterian Church sit today.

The plant never produced any steel. It shut down when banks failed and investors pulled out during the Panic of 1893. Much of the ground today is marshland and only a few pilings remain of the mill. The Kirkland Heritage Society's collection includes bricks from the mill.

18 Nettleton Mansion/Green's Funeral Home — 400 State St. Built in 1914 for Clark Nettleton, then-publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, it was bought by the Bleitz family for a funeral home in 1931. Chester and Agnes Green bought the funeral home in 1936; the family continued to operate it until 1996 when it was sold to the Alderwoods Group. That company closed the funeral parlor in January 2005. At this time, a sale is pending on the elegant old mansion.

19 Kirkland Cemetery — Corner of 120th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 80th Street (entrance on 120th). Many of Kirkland's early settler families have plots in this cemetery with elaborate markers. (Peter Kirk and his family are buried in the San Juan islands.)

20 Kirkland Cannery — 640 Eighth Ave. The wood-frame structure, built in 1935 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), was where local families would bring their produce to be canned. It eventually became a smokehouse and sold a line of smoked products and did custom-smoking for local fishermen. The cannery closed June 2001.

Boston billionaire Joshua Sears had plans to open a bank in his building (701 Market St), but those plans ended with the 1893 depression. Today the building houses a religious book store.

Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633 or

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company


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